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Haven: Healthy Home Design


Helping create healthier homes through architecture and design

The hunt for a healthier home is no joke and a journey I have been on for a few years now…

🚩I live in an area of many hills and high humidity, so moisture issues are common. Buying at the bottom of a hill, built into the side of a hill or rocks will mean water is running towards your home which is something you want to avoid at all costs.

🚩Mould and water damage are also present in almost every home I look at, which is something I will do my best to avoid. When I find a home I am serious about, I will test for moisture and if I think mould is present, will do a full air and surface sample test.

🚩The area is also very densely populated, so Wi-Fi towers and other electrical hazards are prominent. I have looked at many homes that tick a lot of boxes but then I notice a huge electrical substation a few blocks away or notice that cars are idling out the front at traffic lights for most of the day; causing air pollution I don’t wish to have in my home.

🚩Water is something I don’t falter on, for me, it must be filtered, and while you can install a whole-home filter and reduce exposure to contaminants, it is nice to know the quality of the water before you buy.

🚩New homes are also lovely to look at, but something I am not really looking for given the probability of toxic building materials being used. Some materials and finishes can take 3-5 years to off-gas, not something I want my family exposed to even if the place looks fucking lovely, if I found a home I truly loved that was recently renovated I would personally run air scrubbers for a month or so before moving in and have an indoor air quality monitor to keep track of indoor air quality and air filtration in each main room.

The search is real!
#healthyliving #healthyhome #homehealth #wellnessarchitect #buildingbiology #buyingahouse #househunt
Here is an un-sexy topic that no one asked for…

After a discussion last week with a past client regarding a job site where materials were left out in the rain, I had mentioned moisture levels in the timber but also, the concrete slab….to which I was given a blank stare.

Something, not even builders seem fully aware; of is the importance of ensuring building materials are protected from the elements, and allowed to completely dry out (and are tested) before being closed in; that includes timber members, sheetrock and flooring.

This goes for concrete slabs too. Concrete takes a HUGE amount of water in its preperation, application and finishing, and therefore takes a LONG time to fully cure AND evaporate.

Depending on the thickness of the slab, as well as the climate and humidity at the site, this can take months, if not YEARS to FULLY dry out.

Moisture in concrete isn't just a minor concern – it's a potential breeding ground for mould and mildew inside your home.

When you seal in a concrete slab without properly testing its moisture levels, you're creating a dangerous environment for moisture.

I know as an architect that waiting a full 12 months for your concrete to dry is simply not practical or reasonable, which is why running dehumidifiers and moisture testing is recommended before closing in.

Also, some flooring manufacturers actually require moisture testing before installing their products. Why? Because excess moisture can wreak havoc on your flooring, leading to warping, bubbling, and other unpleasant surprises. By neglecting proper moisture assessment, you might inadvertently void your flooring warranty.

So, what's the takeaway? Before you rush to seal in that concrete slab, remember the importance of moisture testing. It's not just about avoiding mould and mildew; it's about ensuring the longevity and performance of your flooring.

And finally and most importantly, find and work with builders who understand the healthy home approach, and who will ensure a safe and moisture-free job site.

#healthyhome #havendesigned #wellnessarchitect #nontoxicliving #ConcreteMoistureMatters #HealthyHomeLiving #indoormoisutre
#construction #healthyliving #buildingahouse #renovation #healthyhomedesign
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